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4 Ways to Live with Loss and Longing by Moreah Vestan

Love, Heartbreak

When you’re feeling like you can’t live with a particular loss, try these ways to lessen the pain

Have you lost a loved one in the past year? A job you liked? A dream? A pet?

Have you dealt with the loss of a friend who's moved 100 or 1,000

miles away? Yes, at least for this loss, there's email and phone and driving

or flying. But the longing for their hug, their smile of loving acceptance,

is harder to satisfy.

Maybe you managed by closing off that bedroom in your heart, or by building

a shrine you can visit with photo albums and mementos. Hopefully, you are

gentle with yourself, and don't demand that you "get over it" before you are

ready to.

1) Count on Time and Acceptance-of-What-Is to Soften the Grief

What is usually much more difficult is the finality of death or

divorce or a breakup. Is there anything but time that can really heal that rift?

Certainly, friends and memories help, but the absolute termination is a When

huge shock to the system, even when the event is not a surprise.

I remember when several of us nine kids were at my mother's bedside

in the hospital. She was dying of cancer, and would go home for the

last two months of her life, to be cared for there by my brother and

Dad. Knowing we'd never see her alive again, neither my siblings nor

I felt much comfort. All had been felt and said already. All that was

left was being together for as long as we could stay.

When I needed to leave to catch my flight home, I remember

wailing loudly down the hospital corridors, led firmly to the car by

my brother. I was heartbroken, moaning not because my mom and I

were that close, but because we weren't, and now would never be.

There was no possibility for her and me to really know each other.

2) Be Aware of How Your Expectations Can Get in the Way

Have you ever tried to reconcile with a partner, your parents or children,

or someone who you thought you’d be close to forever?  You might tell

yourself, “If only she knew how I missed her…” or “If we go on a trip

together, we will work it all out…”  If you remember how close you used

to be, you may assume you can sweet talk your way back into his heart.

Maybe you want or need more than she had or has to give. Maybe

your intensity made her feel intruded upon, though she never indicated

one way or another. If he or she never said things like "I feel hurt when…"

or "That makes me feel angry,” perhaps you assumed all was well.  She

kept those feelings on the back shelf, like one might keep a first aid kit,

expecting never to use it.

Maybe your Mom, like mine, was a hard-working woman, and she took

her role as homemaker very seriously. It’s possible she felt like cooking

and canning and laundry gave you all you needed to feel close to her.

3) Learn What You Can Be Peaceful With in Your Life

If your Dad's motto was "Silence is golden," maybe that’s how he got

through HIS childhood, and he’s not holding back from you, but just

doing what helps him feel safe and normal. Don’t expect what your

child or friend or co-worker is or isn’t able (or willing) to give. Don’t

take it personally if a partner walks away when you raise your voice.

DO communicate when you’re both calm, and find out what she or he

needs to feel peaceful when you talk about differences.

4) Forgive What You Can’t Change. Change What You Can

If it is difficult to let go of what can’t be changed, sit with

your memories, good and bad, and list and hold on to the

memories that comfort you. If you’ve done your best to lighten the load

of loss and longing, and you see nothing else you can do, take refuge in

a book or quotes you find comforting.

I especially like Ken Keyes’ 12 Pathways. Would his 4th one give you solace?                                                    

“l always remember that I have everything I need to enjoy my here

and now -- unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by

demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.”

All 12 are at http://www.mindpowernews.com/HigherConsciousness.html.

Another helpful source is https://afformations.com/afformations-system.

Turn affirmations into questions, such as “How did it get so natural to                                                                

forgive and forget?” Or “Why do I find such peace in letting go of sadness?”

Let your tears slowly melt away the glacier of longing. Know the aching to                                                    

have another try will work its way through your mind and body. And finally,

hopefully, feel the full truth of it when you say,

"It was what it was. It is over. I can find my way from here. I am okay."

Moreah Vestan, www.communicationcoaching.net, is a Communication Trainer, a Life Coach and an author. She welcomes your call to her at                                      206-300-1657 for a complementary 30 min. coaching session on any concern. Let's work together to make it easier.

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